Postwar Italian Art. Perspectives and Methods (next-to-be-published in: «Arte italiana postbellica», Predella #37, numero monografico (winter 2016)


MICHELE DANTINI, Postwar Italian Art. Historical Perspectives and Methods [ABSTRACT]
The essay opens with a critical examination of «October»’s approach to italian postwar art (Issue 124, 2008) and calls for an extension of both sources and historical narratives. Most art-historical topics relevant for the period are summoned and debated with fresh confrontations with social and political historians of «Resistenza», «civil war» and «First Republic» and a few commonplaces discussed through a deeper insight of italian postwar historical and cultural context. Genealogical knowledge improves our understanding of historical units and seems far more respectful of specific differences than summary assumptions about postwar «uniformity». The author introduces here new interpretative frames for «monochrome», «Arte povera», «Arte concettuale» and «Transavanguardia» and solicits for a specific connoisseurship ready to break up interpretative monopolies and refute exhausted paradigms. Since late 50s’, this is the main thesis, rhetorics of «identity» increasingly intertwine in Italy with visual research and powerfully contribute to push the most relevant artists to experiment unexpected forms of contemporary visual «syncretism» or maliciously combine «tradition» and «avantgarde» while dismissing the authority of both. Here come «survivals» meant as ruins of a diasporic heritage, displayed through fragmentation, displacement and irony. Local ductile resistance to international standards feeds artistic innovation.


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